Mind Games

Have you ever noticed that when you feel denied or deprived of something, you want it all the more?  I’m starting week three of my weight loss program and found that, with the excitement wearing off (as it inevitably does around this time!), I have to be very, very careful about my thoughts.

“Shoot, I only have 300 calories left for today” can turn into a minor pity party of “Poor me, I really want to make some brownies but can’t because they are 180 calories for a 2 inch square and I’d probably eat a fourth of the pan.  Poor me, I’m so deprived.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and let up a little.  Maybe I really could eat just one…”

Little things can turn into big things.  Small, seemingly innocuous thoughts turn into monsters threatening to derail my plans for healthy living.  I find myself having to do a “thought check” to see if I am heading down a dangerous rabbit trail before it is to late.

And my solution so far has been this: wait.  I play a game with myself.  First, I ask myself, “Can I wait 5 minutes before starting to make those brownies?”  “Well, sure.  Five minutes won’t hurt.  I’ll get some cleaning done first.”  Then, before I know it, half an hour has passed.  Shoot, the craving is still there.  So, I drink some water and put it off a little longer.  Then it gets late and I don’t want to stay up late because “getting enough sleep is really more important than making brownies, right?”  Sigh.  The next morning “Mmmm… Maybe today I’ll make brownies.  Surely I’ll work out and work off the calories later, right?”  “The weekend is just a couple days away, maybe I should build up a calorie deficit first and then reward myself with brownies on Saturday.”  “Yeah, that’s a good plan.” See?  Mind games.

The weekend has rolled around and I’m so proud of myself and so focused on the weight I lost last week and the fantastic meal plan I have for next week that I decided NOT to make the brownies over the weekend anyway!  Instead, I allowed myself to buy some 100 cal snacks, with the requisite chocolate of course, from GFS.

I keep waiting to eat my little indulgence.  I keep putting it off and going for some fruit or other healthier snack instead.  Again: mind games.  Knowing that I have pretty much guilt-free access to a reasonable amount of indulgence makes me feel like I don’t need it.  I don’t feel deprived or like I’m missing out.

Feeling like I’m in control of my body and food desires again, even in such a little thing as this, is really confidence building.  Here is one more bad habit (junk food overindulgence) that I’m turning on its head.  I’m one step further on my journey to health.

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